XSETROOT(1) MachTen Programmer’s Manual XSETROOT(1)

xsetroot - root window parameter setting utility for X

xsetroot [-help] [-def] [-display display] [-cursor cur-
sorfile maskfile] [-cursor_name cursorname] [-bitmap file-
name] [-mod x y] [-gray] [-grey] [-fg color] [-bg color]
[-rv] [-solid color] [-name string]

The setroot program allows you to tailor the appearance of
the background ("root") window on a workstation display
running X. Normally, you experiment with xsetroot until
you find a personalized look that you like, then put the
xsetroot command that produces it into your X startup
file. If no options are specified, or if -def is speci-
fied, the window is reset to its default state. The -def
option can be specified along with other options and only
the non-specified characteristics will be reset to the
default state.

Only one of the background color/tiling changing options
(-solid, -gray, -grey, -bitmap, and -mod) may be specified
at a time.

The various options are as follows:

-help Print a usage message and exit.

-def Reset unspecified attributes to the default values.
(Restores the background to the familiar gray mesh
and the cursor to the hollow x shape.)

-cursor cursorfile maskfile
This lets you change the pointer cursor to whatever
you want when the pointer cursor is outside of any
window. Cursor and mask files are bitmaps (little
pictures), and can be made with the bitmap(1) pro-
gram. You probably want the mask file to be all
black until you get used to the way masks work.

-cursor_name cursorname
This lets you change the pointer cursor to one of
the standard cursors from the cursor font. Refer
to appendix B of the X protocol for the names
(except that the XC_ prefix is elided for this

-bitmap filename
Use the bitmap specified in the file to set the
window pattern. You can make your own bitmap files
(little pictures) using the bitmap(1) program. The
entire background will be made up of repeated
"tiles" of the bitmap.

-mod x y
This is used if you want a plaid-like grid pattern
on your screen. x and y are integers ranging from
1 to 16. Try the different combinations. Zero and
negative numbers are taken as 1.

-gray Make the entire background gray. (Easier on the

-grey Make the entire background grey.

-fg color
Use ‘‘color’’ as the foreground color. Foreground
and background colors are meaningful only in combi-
nation with -cursor, -bitmap, or -mod.

-bg color
Use ‘‘color’’ as the background color.

-rv This exchanges the foreground and background col-
ors. Normally the foreground color is black and
the background color is white.

-solid color
This sets the background of the root window to the
specified color. This option is only useful on
color servers.

-name string
Set the name of the root window to ‘‘string’’.
There is no default value. Usually a name is
assigned to a window so that the window manager can
use a text representation when the window is iconi-
fied. This option is unused since you can’t
iconify the background.

-display display
Specifies the server to connect to; see X(1).

X(1), xset(1), xrdb(1)

Mark Lillibridge, MIT Project Athena

X Version 11 Release 6 2